Tertiary Gulf Coast Diapirism
1984. "Tertiary Gulf Coast Diapirism", Structural and Depositional Styles of Gulf Coast Tertiary Continental Margins: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration, Martin P.A. Jackson, William E. Galloway
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Figures 1 and 2 show the distribution of salt structures in the Louann Salt underlying approximately half of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. Thinner salt is present outside these areas. The southern bulge of salt into the abyssal Gulf is due to southward creep of allochthonous salt forming the Sigsbee Scarp.
The vertically exaggerated N-S cross section in figure 3 extends from the marginal East Texas Basin across the central Gulf. The depocenter is beneath the continental margin.
The size, shape, and concentration of salt structures show a general trend from the continental slope to the abyssal plain: salt structures become older, more circular, and smaller in plan, and structurally more mature (fig. 4). They become smaller in plan because they are elongating upward in the third dimension. They become more circular because salt ridges segment into elliptical pillows which grow into subcircular diapirs by amplification of their crestal zones.
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Structural and Depositional Styles of Gulf Coast Tertiary Continental Margins: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration
The structure and genetic stratigraphy of the Gulf of Mexico continental margin are inextricably intertwined. As hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation advance into the deeply buried Tertiary basin fill, interpretation of the complex depositional and structural styles of the outer shelf and upper slope setting will increasingly challenge the interpreter. This publication provides a coherent summary of the key concepts, models, and tools that are needed to meet this exploration challenge, and includes chapters on: basic principles, submarine slope systems, models of growth faults, mechanics of diapir growth, petroleum traps, and techniques on analyzing normal faults and balancing cross sections with extended strata.